A ‘Kiran Bernard Kutinha’ review.
And sure I did. With Names like John Travolta, Denzel Washington, Luis Guzman and John Turturro, the 1974 Joseph Sargent remake begins with a promise of being quite the entertainer. But Tony Scott’s Action-Thriller does little to live up to the hype and success of its predecessor. Tony Scott’s assumption that he could pull a rabbit out of the hat, ended up a dead chicken, which proves it’s not all about the stars only.
Walter Garber is played by Denzel Washington; a demoted train dispatcher who is under investigation for his involvement over a supposed receipt of a bribe. The movie places Walter in the wrong place at the wrong time and on a day which could have just simply been another day at the office for him. This in turn weaves into the core storyline of the movie.
Ryder played by John Travolta the mastermind armed with a gang of four hijack a subway train and hold the passengers hostage in exchange to have his financial demands met and this is to be meted out within an hour’s time. And the consequences to non-compliance being the execution of one passenger for every minute of delay. Walter Garber finds himself Piloting this ‘situation’ by playing negotiator on Radio with Ryder.
Just as the hostage situation is unfolding, steps in Detective Camonetti played by John Tutorro the NYPD Hostage Negotiator. He is believed to be able to handle the situation with his given creditable but only to realize the folly which cost the life of the motorman of Pelham 123.Ryder being the tough nut he’s portrayed accepts to only talk to Garber as he had build a rapport with him and it seemed was beginning to enjoy the conversations.
The story based on John Godey’s 1974 novel seems to be a little too farfetched to succeed as a believable story in today’s times with heightened security everywhere. So this plot should have been left untouched in the archives. The remodeling of the story to the recent period of time was a disappointment as it failed to make you believe in it.
Yet it’s a pleasure to watch two times Oscar winner Denzel Washington and two times Oscar nominee John Travolta put on a good show in this 106 min Action/Thriller. The introduction starts off with some very interesting, creative and original style of choppy editing synchronized with Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems, successfully aiding in building the feel and pace of the movie. But after which it’s just down to the bare basics. This more so because Tony Scott’s style of movie making from films like Déjà Vu, Man on Fire, Top Gun and many more have a tendency of leaving you parched for more unlike this one.
The movie is fast paced for sure as anticipated and surely does not bore you ,say in exception for a couple of unnecessary on road action sequences and the very predictable ending.
It is a full-on commercial movie and if you want to enjoy some good actors do what they best at then just watch it for the entertainment aspect without getting too critical. It definitely holds no surprises nor any exciting technology nor climaxes but it sure does have 2 great actors, along with some very stylish editing and decent directing. But if you’re a movie-buff with an eye and hear for critical detail and are expecting an entire film-satisfaction package from this film then you better turn around.
I would give this one 2.5 out of 5.
Check me on this. Over and Out.